Earn study points with a course from the Minorities & Multilingualism programme

Do you still need some study points to fill your free space in the first semester of the acdemic year 2020/2021, and are you interested in minorities, their history, their position in society and how they are represented in art and literature? Or are you maybe curious about minority languages such as Frisian, Welsh, or the languages that migrants bring with them if they move to another country?

We have some great courses for you, in which you will gain useful knowledge on cultural diversity and multilingualism, train academic skills such as writing papers and presenting, and gain practical skills such as writing for the internet, making videos and writing policy advices! Below, you can find information about courses in the first semester offered to all BA students enrolled at the University of Groningen by the Minorities & Multilingualism BA programme.  You can take each of these courses seperately, or you can take a full 30 ECTS package of a number of courses that together form a coherent programme around a certain theme. In addition, if you’re interested in Frisian and already speak some Frisian, you can sign up for courses under the Frisian header: history, lingusitics and old-Frisian. If you are interested in Frisian, but do not speak the language (yet), you can sign up for a course for L2 speakers of Frisian, which brings you from A0 (no knowledge) to B2 in one semester. Please note that currently, you cannot obtain ECTS for this particular course. If you are interested in this course of Frisian for non-Frisian speakers, send an email to a.pot@rug.nl. For information about all other courses you can contact s.j.moenandar@rug.nl. The full list of courses in the M&M programme can be found on Ocasys.

Minorities in society, culture and arts

This course is about the historical cultural diversity of Europe. How did minority cultures develop over the course of the last two centuries? How did they fight for recognition of their own cultures? As long as such minorities do not have a state territory of their own, their history, language and/or culture are the most important means of binding them together and creating a specific sense of community. During this course, we will look at the different ways in which different minorities in Europe have established such a sense of community. Students will also learn to understand the differences and relations between indigenous, non-migrant minorities, and migrant minorities.

Almost every European nation state houses one or more groups of people who speak a language different from the national majority language. These (ethno)linguistic minorities by definition do not have political sovereignty. Some of these, such as the Catalans in Spain, the Scots in the UK or the Russian-speaking population in the eastern provinces of Ukraine, fiercely strive for a nation-state of their own; others, like for instance the Frisians in the Netherlands or the Sorbs in Germany, seem content with whatever cultural autonomy they have. During this course, we will discuss, analyse and compare such minority groups and their social and cultural position within the different European nation states. This course can be taken either together with, or independent from History of European Minorities I.

In this course, we will look at how arts, culture and media relate to society: do they merely mirror society as it is, including structures of power and dominance, thus leaving as little room for minority identities as society itself? Or can arts, culture and media serve as a space for resistance, from where artists, cultural producers and media makers can intervene in society and attempt to create a better understanding and bring about justice? We do so by exploring case studies from, for example sports, pop music, literature, film, the visual arts and comics. You will write short essays and do an exam.

During this course, we focus on so-called ‘border narratives’: stories in arts, culture and media that describe an encounter between majority and minority cultures. You will be taught methods from narratology – the study of narrative – with which you can analyse such stories. During the course, we will look together at case studies from literature, cinema, documentary and theatre, then you will write an essay about a case study of your own choosing. You will also practice with writing for a broader audience about issues of minority representation in arts, culture and media. This course can be taken either together with, or independent from Minority Languages I.

This is a course for students who want to (further) develop their research skills. The course will introduce you to the craft of qualitative research. It will familiarize you with its key concepts, make clear what methodologically sound qualitative research looks like, and cover in detail the main themes in qualitative research methodology. This skills-oriented course will give you the necessary tools to carry out meaningful, relevant, and successful qualitative research. You will learn how to gather data by doing different types of interviews, and how to process this data through coding and analysis. You will practice these skills during assignments focusing on topics regarding minority cultures and languages.

This is a great course if you want to (further) develop your research skills. You will be introduced to the practice of quantitative social and behavioral research. You will learn to work with a range of quantitative methods and techniques for data gathering. You will also be trained in doing basic statistical analyses. The course works with a handbook that is introduced in the lectures, while the seminar will offer hands-on experiences with various methods of analyses. You will practice these skills and methods during assignments focusing on topics regarding minority cultures and languages.

Minorities and their languages

Thousands of languages are spoken on this planet, but scientists predict that only a few hundred of these will survive in the long run. Why do smaller languages die? Can smaller languages be saved? Or would it just be for the best if we all started to speak English? This is a course about minority languages and the people that speak them. In interactive classes we will discuss different case studies from Europe and beyond. We will look at how social and political factors may cause the disappearance of a language – or, instead,  prevent such extinction. We will also look at language revitalisation: is it possible to save a language from extinction by implementing certain policies?

Languages vary and languages change. This is something we all know, but during this course you will learn why a language may exist of many different dialects and why the way we speak changes over time. We will look at how social factors influence language change, and how you can make predictions about how a language will develop looking at linguistic variation. This course functions as an introduction in sociolinguistics: the study of how language, society and culture relate to each other. During interactive classes, seven case studies are explored, helping you to develop research methods for studying linguistic variation and change. This course can be taken either together with, or independent from Minority Languages I.

What is linguistics about? Why study language at all? This is a course for everyone with an interest in languages. It will introduce you to linguistics: the study of language. You will get to know the basic concepts belonging to the core disciplines of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. These are introduced in the lectures. During the seminars, the knowledge acquired is discussed, tested and practiced through interesting exercises in a diversity of languages. There are weekly homework assignments, and a final exam.

In today’s globalised and multicultural societies, most – if not all – people are more or less multilingual. In fact, multilingualism is a phenomenon that has existed as long as people speaking different languages have been in contact with each other – which could very well mean that  that multilingualism may be as old as language itself. In this introductory course we focus on what it means for people to be bi- or multilingual. You will learn about types of multilingual speakers, theories of language learning, the cognitive and neurological effects of knowing and using more than one language, the effects of age and personal experience on linguistic abilities, and the effect of multilingualism on intelligence. This course can be taken either together with, or independent from Introduction to Linguistics I.

This is a course for students who want to (further) develop their research skills. The course will introduce you to the craft of qualitative research. It will familiarize you with its key concepts, make clear what methodologically sound qualitative research looks like, and cover in detail the main themes in qualitative research methodology. This skills-oriented course will give you the necessary tools to carry out meaningful, relevant, and successful qualitative research. You will learn how to gather data by doing different types of interviews, and how to process this data through coding and analysis. You will practice these skills during assignments focusing on topics regarding minority cultures and languages.

This is a great course if you want to (further) develop your research skills. You will be introduced to the practice of quantitative social and behavioral research. You will learn to work with a range of quantitative methods and techniques for data gathering. You will also be trained in doing basic statistical analyses. The course works with a handbook that is introduced in the lectures, while the seminar will offer hands-on experiences with various methods of analyses. You will practice these skills and methods during assignments focusing on topics regarding minority cultures and languages.

Frisian courses

Thousands of languages are spoken on this planet, but scientists predict that only a few hundred of these will survive in the long run. Why do smaller languages die? Can smaller languages be saved? Or would it just be for the best if we all just started to speak English? This course teaches students about the general typological traits of minority languages and their speech communities. It helps students understand which social and political factors prevent a language from dying, and how you can make sound predictions about the vitality of a language. Through a number of case studies from Europe and beyond, interactive classes are taught which focus on developing a broad theoretical foundation in our students combined with teaching them practical skills about language revitalisation.

Part two of this course teaches students knowledge about the relationship between linguistic variation and linguistic change. The course helps students understand which social factors influence language change, and how you can make predictions about how language may develop by looking at linguistic variation. Interactive lectures are taught with a focus on developing a broad theoretical foundation in variationist sociolinguisttics. Seminars are made up of 7 practical case studies in which students make a first encounter with research methodologies.

Met dit vak wordt de beheersing van het Fries die is aangeleerd bij Taalvaardigheid Fries Ia,b verdiept. Dit gebeurt door het intensief oefenen van geschreven genres – door middel van vertalingen en vrije schrijfopdrachten – en het houden van uitgebreide mondelinge presentaties of dicussies. De kennis van de Friese woordenschat en het Friese idioom wordt vergroot, terwijl die talige eigenheden, met name op het terrein van de syntaxis, aan bod komen die van rechtstreeks nut zijn voor het schrijven van het Fries.

Deze cursus volgt op Fryske taalfeardigens 2a

Under Fryske literatuer wurdt trochstrings ferstien ‘Frysktalige literatuer’. Mar oft dat ek echt sa is, dat hinget mar krekt ôf fan de definysje fan literatuer dy’t je der op neihâlde en fan de metoade dy’t je hantearje. In literatuersosjologyske benadering bygelyks jout in folslein oar byld as in suver literatueranalytyske metoade, al hielendal wannear’t je de Fryske literatuer út histoarysk eachpunt wei begripe wolle.
Yn dit kolleezje krijt de studint in oersjoch fan de belangrykste aspekten, benaderingswizen, ûntwikkelingen en tema’s út en fan de Fryske literatuer. Dêrby wurdt de Fryske literatuer hieltyd út in bredere kontekst wei problematisearre. Belangrike konteksten binne minderheidsliteratuer yn it algemien, de spanning tusken Nederlânsktalige en Frysktalige literatuer en de ynbêding fan de Fryske literatuer yn bredere literêre en kulturele fjilden, b.g. dat fan de Fryske taalbeweging. Yn it kolleezje is ek bisûnder omtinken foar it trochlibjen fan literatuer en de resepsje fan âldere literêre produkten yn lettere perioaden.
De metoade fan dit kolleezje is dat oan de iene kant de studint oanleart om de Fryske literatuer as lytse literatuer yn in bredere maatskiplike, literêrsosjologyske en histoaryske kontekst del te setten en oan de oare kant alle wiken stikken of stikjes lêst fan belangrike of represintative teksten út de literatuer fan in bepaalde perioade of oer in bepaald tema.
Studinten lêze alle kearen in pear opjûne teksten, meitsje opdrachten en dogge allegear in kear as wat in lytse presintaasje.

Dit fak is in kombinaasje fan de eardere FTC-fakken ‘Taalkunde Frysk: ynlieding’ en ‘Taalkunde Frysk (Taalkunde II)’. Yn it earste blok moat de studint sels de lêst ferskynde Fryske grammatika ‒ J. Popkema, Grammatica Fries. De regels van het Fries. Prisma, Utrecht, 2006 ‒ trochnimme. Dêrneist sille op kolleezje in pear taalkundige ûnderwerpen fan it Frysk behannele wurde. De studint krijt dêr opdrachten oer, dy’t ta doel hawwe om it taalkundich analysearjen fan it Frysk yn praktyk te bringen en sa te oefenjen. Dit part fan it fak wurdt ‒ oan ‘e ein fan it earste blok ‒ ôfsletten mei in skriftlik tintamen oer de stof (Popkema syn grammatika en de behannele taalkundige ûnderwerpen).
Yn it twadde blok sille der ien of mear, yn oerlis te kiezen, taalkundige ûnderwerpen behannele wurde. Yn dit blok moat der in wurkstik skreaun wurde oer in, yn oerlis te kiezen, taalkundich ûnderwerp oangeande it Frysk, dêr’t ek in presintaasje oer holden wurde moat.

Oudfries is de middeleeuwse voorloper van het moderne Fries. Het wordt wel ‘the first cousin of English’ genoemd. Geschreven bronnen hebben we slechts uit de periode 1100-1550; ze bestaan voornamelijk uit rechtsteksten. Docent Anne Popkema, co-auteur van het Altfriesisches Handwörterbuch (2008), voert de student in in de grammatica en de bronnen van het Oudfries. Bij afsluiting van de collegereeks kan de student niet alleen een stuk Oudfries vertalen (m.b.v. de gebruikelijke hulpmiddelen), maar zo’n tekst ook plaaten in de maatschappelijke, politieke, rechts- en taalgeschiedenis van de middeleeuwen. Wekelijkse opdrachten bereiden de student voor op een schriftelijk tentamen en een presentatie aan het einde van de cursus. Het vak staat voor 10 ECTS (280 studieuren).